Tuesday, January 15, 2013


     Today I had a mindfulness break through, you might read this and think, that wasn't anything. I mean, in all the craziness happening in our lives right now, this might strike you as superfluous, but it was big, big in its smallness, and it happened around the dishes.  Ah the dishes, I can't believe how much energy I spend hating the dishes.  For awhile I thought I was the only one who feels tense until the sink is clear, tightness in my shoulders, clenched in my chest, tired just looking at the mess in my house.  I just knew that I was the only mother living in this kind of mess.  Just recently though, I know I am not alone, thank you to the mother in my sangha mama group for bravely admitting to having that same house-will-never-be-clean-but-I-need-it-to-be tension.  Thank you to my friend Heather, for this post, cleaning up a mess.  No, we are not alone.  And that simple knowledge helped my little break through tonight.

     A few weeks ago I set up the windowsill above the sink as a tiny altar.  I thought that bringing a reminder to be mindfully calm and to pay attention to my breath while washing the dishes might help.  I usually forget it's there, as my busy mind focuses on wading through the chores, clearing the mess, the never ending standing up.  Today was no exception, the stress was everywhere, the dishes piled high, the counter a disaster, the pile of cut up paper under my two year old son multiplying by the second, the dry wall project in the living room complicating everything. I thought if I can just get through the dishes, I'll feel better, I'll make myself do it, then I'll be able to breathe.  But I couldn't breathe, not fully, and some little part of me noticed the altar, the green glass buddha, I lit a candle, paused just for a moment, enough to get a fuller breath, and then something shifted, ever so slightly.

     And then my son screamed at his little brother for taking his glue stick, it was a tired scream, a yelling fit that signaled intervention.  Because I had paused, I didn't get angry, I didn't come in and bark.  I swooped up my son, took him upstairs, laid with him as he calmed down, asked for a story.  We shared a beautiful moment, a kind moment, together.  He told me about his day at school. Then when it was over, he said "I'm not mad anymore.  I'm sorry for yelling at you.  I love you mama. My body says I'm ready to go back downstairs."  No kidding.  That's what happened.

      And the dishes are still piled high in the sink, maybe Daddy will get those tomorrow.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rock and roll moment of the week

I'm feeling so glad that we have music as a big part of our lives, it is obviously rubbing off on our kiddos!
Here is "I throw my rock and roll into the water" by Hank.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A walk

We are so blessed to live in a community rich with natural places to play. A grey wet winter tends to keep this a secret, but with spring creeping in I sense my kids really needing to get outside.

Last week we made it out on a sunny day to play at one of our neighborhood parks.

What I needed the most was the reminder to sit back
and watch what caught their fancy, to let them lead me for awhile.

Of course, we had to get right up close to the creek, at first I didn't think I was up to it, all my grown up concerns got in the way, but in the end their curiosity won me over. I'm so glad it did!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A lot to catch up on...

I'm going to start blogging again, I keep thinking it and I keep thinking I don't have time to do it, but I'm going to do it, I really am...so many thoughts about so many things keep floating in and out of my mind, they need a place to go, and not just in my private journal. For me 2012 is already about living my life authentically and for me, that is about sharing. My intention this year, is to be brave! I'll be writing more about that in the weeks to come.

Sharing my writing and ideas is often very scary to me, I fear rejection, misunderstanding, judgement. Maybe even a little bit of me fears the opposite, acceptance and understanding. It is sometimes hard for me to be seen, I feel shy, raw and exposed. That's what being brave is about for me, stepping into those feelings and welcoming them in. It's about stepping into my shadows with the light of compassion and courage. If I never do that, this will only be a life half lived, I am terrified, but I don't want to waste this "one wild and precious life".

Friday, March 27, 2009

Doing Things Badly

I really dig the author SARK.  In one of her books, I can't remember which one, she gives this advice:  Practice letting go, messing about and doing things badly. That is the best advice my inner recovering perfectionist and my inner artist have ever heard.

Today, this advice is helping actually get through the process of creating this skirt I'm working on.  I'm often unhappy with my uneven stitch lengths, questioning how skilled my stencil design looks, wondering if I will actually want to wear this thing.  So I keep telling myself, after a deep breath "practice doing things badlY!"  And it is so liberating!  

Hank now loves to sweep with the new child sized broom I bought him.  Do you think he's a very good sweeper, hell no, when I try to get him to help sweep the little pile I make into the dust pan he just laughs and rubs his little broom through my pile sending it all over the floor again.  But it's not really about being good to his mind, it's about the process of moving the broom across the floor, doing what mommy is doing and he enjoys it so much.  So I'm gonna keep at it, practicing doing things badly.

If I stay in that mindset, I find I'm enjoying the process so much!  My body relaxes and takes delight in the colors I'm working with, enjoys touching the fabric, getting new ideas for different projects and wow I'm actively engaged in the process not worried so much about my end result...and life is lived in the process, it's when it's done that we're dead!

Monday, March 16, 2009


I came across this great Helen Keller quote on the website of my new obsession, Alabama Chanin:  (which is a great website!)
"Security is mostly superstition.  It does not 
exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the end than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."  I keep thinking about this quote in a variety of contexts 
in my life, I like it, I like the way it makes me think.

Speaking of Alabama Chanin, their book,  The Alabama Stitch Book, has struck a chord with me and inspired my artistic spirit.  Here is a panel of the skirt I'm working on from the book: